Keurig Will Not Brew

Getting back to brewing …

This issue is assuming that you don’t have the NOT READY or PRIME messages displayed on the LCD. Rather, its covering the unusual situation the brewer is not happy with something else as it starts its brew cycle. The proposed solutions below help work through the more common causes of this problem.

Solution 1 – Brewer Handle Position and Water Reservoir Position

So we will assume that the brewer is actually switched on at the wall and the on switch pressed. The other stumbling block for some first time users is making sure the handle is pushed back down correctly after the K-Cup portion has been placed in the K-Cup holder. The holder handle has to be pressed down to ensure it pops into place, but not too firmly now. If the handle is down correctly you should see displayed on the screen a READY TO BREW message with a flashing button. This may be the Left, Right or Brew button, depending on the model you have. If you have all of this then make sure the little flashing button has been pressed.

The reason why having the handle down correctly is inside the top assembly is a micro switch which tells the brewer when the handle is down or up. It doesn’t know whether there is a K-Cup in the holder or not, it does have that type of sensor, but it does know where the handle is. You can see in the two photos below with the switch open and closed (closed being with the handle down).

Micro switch - open

Micro switch - closed

If the holder handle is down correctly then it may be due to insufficient water in the water reservoir. If the screen displays ADD WATER, then you will need to add some more water as the brewer has worked out it does not have enough to complete the brew (clever little thing). All the models have a minimum amount of water needed to complete the brewing process and part of its start-up sequence is to check on the water level.

The other issue which can sometimes arise with the reservoir is that it is not seated correctly on the brewer. Make sure it’s slotted in correctly and some making the correct connections with the machine.

Solution 2 – Back Pressure Hold (Temporary Fix)

Another common cause of this problem is the lack of pressure being generated or being released by the brewer. Water pressure is either not being managed properly by processor or logic board (we have a new guide in how to replace that), the solenoids are not regulating the pressure correctly (we have a repair guide on replacing that too), and/or the air pump is not generating enough air pressure to move the water from the boiler unit to your coffee cup (and yes, we have a guide on how to replace that pump too).

What one of our readers (Jennifer) wrote in was a temporary fix for this problem (we’ll get onto a more permanent fix in Solution 3 below). What Jennifer found was if you blocked the water and air discharge port this stopped air pressure from being released through and instead fed it back into the boiler unit. This in turn generated sufficient air pressure to force the hot water from the boiler through the K-Cup and into the coffee cup – in other words, it worked like it should.



On a Keurig the thinner tubes are for moving air, while the fatter tubes are for moving water. You can see from the photo below the thinner (air) tube goes into the brewer while the water tube connects to the solenoid – which then connects to the boiler unit and pressure regular up into the process / logic board.


The air tube that goes into the brewer connects up to the water pump that sits down near the base of the unit. The photo below shows it connecting into the top of the pump (looking up at the pump from underneath).


As pleased as Jennifer was in being able to at least make a cup of coffee, holding this port closed each time making a coffee didn’t look like much fun and so she was seeking a permanent solution.

Solution 3 – Solenoid Replacement

Having worked through the issue with our B60 today we have established that with this type of fault the replacement of the solenoid unit should fix the problem. The solenoid helps to regulate water and air pressure and in particular looks after the control of discharge, as the brewer requires, through the discharge tube back into the water reservoir. By replacing the solenoid the issue it has in this pressure regulation should be fixed, getting the brewer back to normal operation.

The part you are going to need for this repair can be found on our Replacement Parts page and looks like the photo below.

Keurig Solenoid

To help with this process we have also produced a couple of guides to help you along the way. The first one you will need explains how to remove the Keurig’s outer casing, ie the cosmetic plastic that protects the components inside. This is a tricky process but we will take you through this step-by-step in a two part video, which you can access from this link.

Once that is done our guide explaining how to replace the solenoid unit will be of help for you and this can be read by following this link. We don’t have a video produced on this yet, but the written guide many find more helpful.

If you get stuck along the way or have any questions please get in touch through the comments section below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hi Randy. Thanks for a great question. We have devoted a new page to your question and our proposed solution – which we hope will get you back to making your favorite coffee. You can find the new page here: Please let us know how you get on. Thanks, Andrew

    • Randy Willmott ,

      Hi, Andrew! My wife decided to try your fix just one more time, and BINGO!, our Keurig now works! Thanks for helping!

      • Hi Randy. Thanks very much for your message and feedback – really pleased it worked for you and you are back in the coffee making business. All the best, Andrew

  • Hi Vanessa. Sorry its taken a bit of time to come back to you – away on vacation at the moment. It sounds like there is problem either in the brewing process or the air pump. How old is your brewer? If it’s under a year old get hold of Keurig customer service and ask them to send you a new machine. Our article, which you can find in the link below, sets out what your warranty covers and the toll-free number to call.
    All the best, Andrew

  • Hi Elaine. Thanks for your question. This type of fault is similar to what people often experience with a partial cup of coffee problem. The reason they are similar is that the most common cause is the failure of the brewer’s air pump. The pump is not able to generate sufficient air pressure to pump the heated water from the boiler unit throw the K-Cup holder and into your coffee cup. The only permanent fix for this problem is an air pump replacement. It’s not an easy 5 minute job, but does save you buying a new brewer. If you would like to see what is involved have a look at our repair guide (link below). If you have any questions please let us know. Thanks, Andrew

  • Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your question. Today we worked through the problem you raised and it looks like the replacement of the solenoid unit will fix the it. Based on your question we have updated our page on this problem and the new content can be accessed through the link below. If you have any questions please let us know and see how we can help. Kind regards, Andrew